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5 of 5
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list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2011
ISBN:9781770492257
publisher: Tundra

Ella May and the Wishing Stone

by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Genevieve Cote

reviews: 2
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friendship, values & virtues
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2011
ISBN:9781770492257
publisher: Tundra
Description

One day, Ella May finds a stone that has a line going all-all-all the way around it. Surely a stone this special must grant wishes, she decides. Soon she is busy making wishes and bragging about them. When her friends want to share the fun, Ella May objects. But she soon learns that keeping the stone for herself is a sure way to lose friends. By using her imagination – much more powerful than any stone – she is able to grant everybody’s wishes, including her own.

Cary Fagan’s witty and sharply observed story will delight young readers who are beginning to explore the pleasures and challenges of sharing and friendship.

About the Authors

Cary Fagan has won the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Jewish Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, and his books have been nominated for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, the Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award and the Rocky Mountain Book Award. He is the author of several popular short novels and picture books, including Danny, Who Fell in a Hole and A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (illustrated by Banafsheh Erfanian). The Old World, his recent collection of adult short stories, was published by Anansi in March 2017.

Author profile page >

Cary Fagan has won the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Jewish Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, and his books have been nominated for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, the Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award and the Rocky Mountain Book Award. He is the author of several popular short novels and picture books, including Danny, Who Fell in a Hole and A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (illustrated by Banafsheh Erfanian). The Old World, his recent collection of adult short stories, was published by Anansi in March 2017.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Cary Fagan has written many books for children and adults, including Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas, based on Mordecai Richler’s beloved character. His writing has garnered several honors, including the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, and the Mr. Christie Silver Medal. His recent picture books include Ten Old Men and a Mouse, My New Shirt, and Thing-Thing. His novels include The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book), Directed by Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Finalist), and Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book). Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.

Geneviève Côté has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Lady of Shalott and La petite rapporteuse de mots. She both wrote and illustrated a few picture books, among which are Me and You and What Elephant? Her editorial art has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Côté has won several awards, including the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award and the Governor General’s Award for Illustration.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
4 to 6
Grade:
p to 1
Editorial Review

“…Fagan believably captures the delicate balance of friendship in the very young and lets the story play out with welcome complexity. Côté's illustrations are simple without being cartoonish, demonstrating the same warm understanding of childhood. Thoughtful and Touching”
Kirkus Reviews
 
 “…Cary Fagan… does a great job here with both the fun, engaging story, and the fine tricks of repetition and structure that make Ella May and the Wishing Stone ideal for early reader. Geneviève Côté’s watercolour illustrations are lively and simple, focusing on the kids themselves and hewing closely to the narrative…. The net result is an original and imaginative treatment of one of the hardest lessons of early childhood –sharing –in a colourful package that’s likely to charm kids and adults alike.”
Quill & Quire

“Côté’s…illustrations drive the story along with light and expressive outlines and wash effects… children won’t have any difficulty following the action, and they’ll recognize Ella’s conflicting impulses.”
—Publishers Weekly

“…the little girl uses her imagination to reconnect with her friends, and realizes that they are far more important than wishes. Ultimately, she is able to grant everyone’s wishes, including her own.”
The Waterloo Region Record

“…The charming drawings by Geneviève Côté depict a late summer’s day on the sidewalk. It’s easy to forgive Ella May when she finally comes to her senses and realizes that friends are much more important than possessions….”
Montreal Review of Books

Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ella May and the Wishing Stone

The importance of nurturing and maintaining friendships threads its way through Ella May and the Wishing Stone. Ella May has returned from the beach with a treasure – an ordinary rock with a narrow white band encircling it. She brags to her friends, “It’s a wishing stone... Now all my dreams will come true.” As she demonstrates the rock’s apparently magical powers, her audience fails to realize that her wishes are announced only after they have already happened. The illusion excites everyone so much that they all clamour to hold the wondrous item. “Oh no. It’s too special,” says Ella May. Not to be deterred, the playmates now search for their own special stones, only to have their enthusiasm dampened when their selections are ridiculed outright. Ella May soon finds herself very much alone. Realizing the error of her ways, she yearns for companionship again. Through sheer ingenuity, Ella May finds a way to grant everyone’s wish, including her own.

Author Cary Fagan has written an insightful tale about the importance of fostering friendship through sharing and treating others with respect. Aptly described is the range of Ella May’s emotions from joy and a sense of empowerment to loneliness and regret. Readers will recognize the dilemna our heroine finds herself in: “I wish I could have my friends back... I wish I didn’t even have this old wishing stone.” A difficult lesson learned – “Be careful what you wish for!”

Geneviève Côté’s digital illustrations have a light and energetic style that sets the scene for a memorable summer day. The cartoonlike characters, though simple in outline, have expressive faces conveying their inner thoughts.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2011. Volume 34 No. 4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ella May and the Wishing Stone

Ella May finds a stone with a line going all-all-all the way around it and is convinced it’s magical. When her friends want to join in on the fun and make wishes with her, Ella May objects. She soon learns that keeping the stone and the wishes all to herself isn’t as much fun as sharing.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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